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Sodium and Chloride Retention in Addison'S Disease Treated with Desoxycorticosterone Acetate

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Abstract

The new synthetic adrenal cortical hormone, desoxycorticosterone acetate, promises to be of great assistance in the clinical management of Addison's disease. It was produced by Reichstein1 and is made from stigmasterol. Its clinical value has not yet been established although the investigation of it is progressing in various parts of this country and abroad. Levy Simpson2 reported its use over a short period in two cases of Addison's disease with encouraging although not conclusive results.

At present, we do not feel justified in attempting to draw conclusions regarding its value in the cases of Addison's disease we have treated. Some observations presented here indicate that the material causes a rather marked diminution in excretion of sodium and chloride. In this respect, it duplicates the metabolic effect which has been proved for adrenal cortical extract3.

It should be noted that other steroids are known to produce a similar result. For example, Kenyon4 has shown that urinary sodium and chlorides are retained in the body in cases of testicular deficiency treated with testosterone propionate and our own observations in one case confirm this. The fact that corticosterone causes sodium and chloride retention is therefore not to be considered as3 evidence that it will duplicate other effects of cortical extracts.

The material has been tested in the following manner on two patients who had clinical Addison's disease. Both were subjected to the salt deprivation test described by Cutler, Power, and Wilder5. This test may be briefly described as follows: A diet is supplied. . .


 

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